MISSION BOARD ADULT EDUCATION SERIES—AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN AND ACT
In January and February, our Mission Board will present a series of nine adult education meetings to increase awareness about social justice and service organizations in our community that provide volunteering and giving opportunities. These meetings will be at the usual 9:15 time on Sunday mornings.
January 5: Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP) provides housing and other help at short notice to people needing to leave their homes quickly because of domestic violence or sexual assault. Not surprisingly, these efforts often involve dealing with human trafficking. Lia Parillo, DVIP Shelter Services Coordinator, will tell us how DVIP supports survivors of human trafficking in Iowa.
January 12: Iowans for Immigrant Freedom (IFIF) works in solidarity with non-citizen immigrants in detention by providing visitation, financial assistance, and connection to crucial community resources. IFIF advocates for community-based alternatives to detention and calls for an end to all immigration-related detention in Iowa. Jessica Pannell, IFIF Executive Director, will speak.
January 19: Water Quality is a major problem for Iowa and other agricultural states in the Midwest, contributing to downriver pollution in the Mississippi Atchalafaya River Basin, which covers 41 percent of the territory of the lower 48 states, and feeds directly into the Gulf of Mexico. Iowa itself accounts for 29 percent of the nitrate load of the Basin, thereby making an outsized contribution to the second largest "dead zone" in the world in the Gulf. Congregational UCC member, Chuck Connerly, whose forthcoming University of Iowa Press book, Green, Fair, and Prosperous: Paths to a Sustainable Iowa, addresses the causes and the possible solutions to this problem.
January 26: Candance Lewis, the Hope Lodge Assistant Manager will tell us about the Hope Lodge’s work and mission with cancer patients and their caregivers and how we can help. Hope Lodge is sponsored by the American Cancer Society and is located behind Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
February 2: Michelle Heinz, Executive Director of the Inside-Out Re-entry Community of Johnson County, will discuss the impact of mass incarceration nationally as well as in Iowa, and its impact on families and communities. She will describe the barriers facing individuals after incarceration and how as a community we can make changes to support citizens returning to our community.
February 9: Sarah Ziegenhorn of the Iowa Harm Reduction project. Harm Reduction is a social movement, public health intervention, and set of practical tools that helps people to improve their health, primarily relating to drug use. Its public health values and principles recognize that all people are inherently deserving of dignity, respect, and unconditional love.
February 16: Nicole Vanderlinden and Sara Knox will tell us about the CommUnity’s Crisis Intervention Services. Nicole has volunteered with CommUnity as a crisis intervention specialist since the spring of 2017, talking via phone or online chat with people in crisis, offering a compassionate ear and universal positive regard. Sara Knox started with CommUnity in 2007 as a volunteer. She coordinated the Crisis Intervention Program as it became one of the first crisis centers in the US to offer crisis-chat services. Sara is a Master Trainer for Applied Suicide intervention Skills Training, having conducted more than 30 trainings. She has an MSW from the University of Iowa.
February 23: The mission of the Iowa City Free Medical and Dental Clinic, staffed by volunteer health professionals, is to provide quality comprehensive health care services to the uninsured and underinsured in our community. It also links them to community organizations appropriate for their needs. Laurie Stunz will host a presentation by Barbara Vinograde, the Executive Director.
YOU ARE INVITED TO STAY AFTER WORSHIP ON FEBRUARY 23 FOR THE VOLUNTEER FAIR, WHERE YOU WILL BE ABLE TO EXPLORE VARIOUS OPPORTUNITIES FOR PARTICIPATING IN THESE ORGANIZATIONS.
But wait! There’s more!
March 1: Stu Mullins, the Executive Director of United Action for Youth (UAY) will lead the session. UAY has a rich history of empowering youth to lead happier and healthier lives, which Stu attributes to their motto of “unconditional positive regard “for all participants, community partners, and staff. He began his career there by developing an after-school art and music program for teenagers.